The History

Kids Raising Hands in Classroom


Beginning in Fall 2010, Baltimore City Public Schools began an ambitious plan to redesign and rebuild aging school facilities to best position students for maximum success. Today, the 21st Century School Buildings Program is moving forward, with renovation or replacement of more than two dozen school buildings anticipated over the next 10 years.


Time Description

Fall 2010

Baltimore City Public Schools partners with community organizations to explore possible solutions for financing capital improvements to city school buildings.

Fall 2011

Community partners launch the "Transform Baltimore" campaign dedicated to uniting school communities, organizations, and city leadership behind the goal of adopting and implementing a funding plan to renovate and modernize all public school buildings in Baltimore City.

Spring 2012

After extensive study, the "Jacobs Report" is completed detailing the inability of many Baltimore school buildings to adequately support quality instruction and the overall poor condition of buildings. Firm estimates aimed at correcting building deficiencies and eliminating the backlog of deferred maintenance amount to $2.4 billion.

Summer 2012

Baltimore City’s Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and City Council President Jack Young work together to pass a 5 cent tax on bottled beverages within the City of Baltimore to help fund school construction efforts.

Fall 2012

After conducting community meetings across the city, Baltimore City Public Schools introduces its 21st Century School Buildings For Our Kids proposal  for community review and input.

January 2013

The Maryland State Interagency Committee on School Construction issues a report exploring alternative financing models for Baltimore. The report concludes that an alternative financing program can work, that such a program is legal, and that it can provide a way to build and fully renovate Baltimore’s schools.

  • After extensive community review and input, the Baltimore City Board of School Commissioners approves the 21st Century School Buildings for Our Kids proposal which sets the ambitious goal of renovating or replacing all Baltimore School Buildings in 10 years.
  • School communities, community leaders and partners, Baltimore’s mayor, and the city’s elected officials unite in unprecedented support for the buildings plan. The Baltimore City Delegation submits legislation to the General Assembly to establish an alternative financing program to provide funds to begin the 21st Century School Buildings Program.

February 2013

Thousands of parents, students, teachers, and community members rally in Annapolis to show support for the legislation. Many elected officials including Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and House Speaker Michael Busch address the crowd to show their support for the plan.

Spring 2013

The Baltimore City Delegation unites behind legislation establishing a partnership between Baltimore City Schools, the State, the Maryland Stadium Authority, and Baltimore City to implement an alternative financing program that will leverage $60 million in funding, estimated to provide approximately $1 billion in funding, establishing the 21st Century School Buildings Program.

Fall 2013

The four partners sign the Memorandum of Understanding outlining the roles and responsibilities of all members of the partnership, allowing work to begin.

Spring 2016 Construction kicks off for Fort Worthington Elementary/Middle School, the first 21st Century School Buildings Program project.
Fall 2018 Forest Park High School brought in the 2018-2019 school year in their new building and made history as the first high school completed under the 21st Century School Buildings Program.
January 2024 Cross Country Elementary/Middle School staff and students attend their first day of school in the new building, marking the 28th project completed.